You're a crafter. Maybe you sew fabulous frocks or knit glorious, warm scarves. You might be an avid painter or an amateur woodworker in your spare time. Whatever it is that you do, you have a knack for it, and you'd like to do it full time. Turning a crafting hobby is no small feat, but it's very possible. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for crafters and artists was approximately $44,380 in 2012. Here are four first steps you can take when deciding to start a crafting business:
1. Decide where you want to sell.
Do you want to have an online business or would you rather sell at physical craft fairs? Do you have a dream of selling your crafts on consignment through a brick and mortar store? Figure out what venue you want to sell your crafts in and start the process of setting up shop. If you decide to go the online route, there are many free services you can use to set up your online store. Some online services even allow you to list your items for a small fee.
2. Give out samples to the right people.
Make several samples of your goods and walk around town to stores where you would like to sell. Ask to speak with the manager or owner, and if you get an audience, take a few minutes of their time. Explain that you are a local entrepreneur and ask if they would be interested in selling a few free samples of your work. Show them that you're offering a lucrative product that's in demand. Be courteous and leave you business card, letting them know that they can contact you if they'd like to buy more of your product.
When people hear the word "network," they tend to think about business lunches and mixers designed specifically for the purpose of networking. While there's nothing wrong with these things, there's more effective networking to be done. Your family, friends, and co-workers can be your most valuable assets. Don't be shy; let them know that you're starting a craft business and offer to make them something. Then ask them to tell their friends! Word of mouth is a great way to grow a small business.
4. Learn about entrepreneurship.
The beauty of humankind is that we can learn from others' experiences, not just our own. Take advantage of the compiled knowledge of others by reading books about business. There are many helpful and informative books on the market that can teach you how to grow your revenue and sales. Find the books that resonate most strongly with you as a business person and dive in!
Deciding to take your beloved hobby and turn it into a lucrative business is an admirable choice. While entrepreneurship may not be the easiest course of action, it is certainly a fulfilling career choice. These steps will get you started on your way toward becoming a successful business person.